Following in the footsteps of the Opposition in Islamabad, the Opposition in Punjab Assembly has also knocked the doors of Lahore High Court to decide the looming fate of voting to elect a new Leader of the House. Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly, Hamza Shahbaz and Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mazari in their separate petitions have alleged that the Speaker Punjab Assembly Ch Pervaiz Elahi is using delaying tactics in convening session for deciding the fate of no confidence move.
Chief Justice Lahore High Court has issued notices to the stakeholders for hearing the petition on Monday.
The situation in Punjab Assembly is quite interesting. PTI which was a majority party in Punjab having support of 184 members, had formed the government with the coalition of PML-Q having 10 seats. The magic number to form government in the biggest province is 186. So the support of PML-Q for the PTI is very vital. That is why the PTI led coalition has offered Ch Pervaiz Elahi the most important portfolio of Speaker Punjab Assembly, the second most important seat after CM Punjab.
After the no confidence move was admitted against the PM in the National Assembly, Chaudhry family decided to continue supporting PM Imran Khan and in lieu were offered the prestigious office of CM Punjab.
CM Punjab Usman Buzdar, who was tagged as Wasim Akram Plus by premier Imran Khan, was made to resign and Pervaiz was nominated in his place to take control of the biggest province. From here starts the mockery of the events. The moment the premier made the nomination of Ch Pervaiz Elahi as candidate for CM Punjab office, there erupted a revolt within the party against the decision. Majority was not prepared to support anyone outside the ambit of PTI, particularly Pervaiz Elahi having just 10 votes. The dissident groups which include the Aleem Khan group, Jahangir Khan Tareen group and Cheena group, with a total following of around 40 members, announced their support for the PML-N candidate Hamza Shahbaz Sharif.
Now the Chaudhary’s are left high and dry. They are doubting everyone. Governor Sarwar was removed for having sympathies with Aleem Khan.
Viewing the number game going out of control, the Speaker in Punjab Assembly Pervaiz Elahi does not seem in any mood to convene the session till the time he does not attain majority. The majority is with PML-N which has attained 200 mark, which is far higher than the expected figure.
The size of PTI dissidents is soaring with every passing day which is causing panic within the Pervaiz Elahi camp. The session which was scheduled to be held on April 3 was reconvened on April 6th. Nevertheless, the session could not be convened even on April 6th.
Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mazari who tried to convene the session on Wednesday last, being the chief presiding officer, was stripped of his authority by Pervaiz Elahi following directions from the Supreme Court. Now Elahi is Speaker National Assembly, chief presiding officer in the election of CM Punjab and candidate for the CM office. He has shut the doors of Punjab Assembly for everyone and no one among the members or the assembly staff is allowed to have any entry in the premises. Even Deputy Speaker was not allowed to enter the assembly premises.
Talking to this scribe, Mazari claimed that h Elahi is interfering in his affairs and the assembly staff was not following his directions. He was of the view that Pervaiz Elahi is a candidate for the CM slot so he cannot hold the charge of Speaker Assembly.
On the other hand, the Opposition is contacting the members of PML-N, PPP and dissident groups at a hotel near assembly premises to keep away from the access of PML-Q. They have also held a mock election on April 6th at a local hotel in which Hamza Shahbaz was elected as CM Punjab with a majority vote of around 200.
It is also learnt that acting CM Usman Buzdar has asked the federal government for the replacement of IG Rao Sardar and Chief Secretary Punjab Kamran Afzal on charges of their denial to engage in political affairs. Rao Sardar and Kamran Afzal were conveyed by the CM Usman Buzdar to raid the hotel where the PTI dissidents are kept by the opposition. They directed to arrest the dissidents and transfer them to some unknown place where they would be pressurised to enter their party fold.
Under such a grim scenario, where the assembly doors are shut down, the session is not being called for the election of CM and the province is without a government or any governance, the court is the only hope to get out of the situation.